“Where is God in all this, does He even hear our prayers or does He care,” the senior asked? Covid came; her church closed and not being internet church online was out. Her husband died, the quarantine was imposed, stress related heart problems arose while rising food prices pushed her to a financial precipice. An overwhelming loneliness shaded her life-giving rise to doubt. Where IS God in all this?
The Scriptures help us peal back the curtains of eternity, providing a glimpse into the inner activities of Heaven. Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Twenty-four heavenly elders hold bowls full of prayers! Whose prayers, YOURS and others who entreat The Heavenly Father. What kind of prayers are held in these bowls? Unanswered ones calling out in devotion to The Heavenly Father through pain, sorrow, remorse, loss looking for hope. Simply stated, these bowls hold prayers awaiting an answer from Heaven.
There is another aspect of these prayers; Go calls them incense! My favorite cologne is a 1990s creation Joop. When I pastored a young girl came with her family to greet me, giving me a hug she said, “That’s Pastor John smell.” For her, it was my aroma. Could it be that each, hand made by God the Father, person in the world possesses a distinct scent identifiable by The Creator? Is it possible that as you bow your heart in prayer, Father God inhales deeply, “Ahh, that’s my daughter/son Insert your name here. I love it when she/he prays. I love that fragrance.” Until your answer comes, every prayer sent God-ward lifts its bouquet before The Father. Your pleas are HIs incense.
Then comes THAT DAY, the day of your answer. The day when searching, asking, wondering, hoping, believing, faith-ing ends. On this day your Heavenly Father speaks to one of the elders, “Elder 21, pour out your bowl for her/his answer is on the way.” Waiting ends, realization dawns, “He DID hear me, He really heard me or rather did He smell me?”
The writer is the director of Agape Distribution/Combined Community Food Pantry.